Less open and more tannic initially than the regular St Joseph. Though closed to begin with this demonstrates great fruit finesse and precision. Lovely crisp red berries mixed with richer sweet dark fruit notes nodding to the warmer season. A fine firm tannic grip is evident but in proportion and gives definition, tension and focus to the wine. A long and intense finish brings with it a cracked pepper spiciness. Good intensity without heaviness. Superb. A blend of old Syrah vines in the commune of Chavanay in the north part of St Joseph near Condrieu. Made from 85% de-stalked Syrah (15% whole bunches were included in the 2017 for the first time) and aged in 20% new oak barriques usually for 16 to 18 months.
Tasting André’s superb wines is an unforgettable experience. However, there is always a reticent air about him and an unwillingness to accept praise for the nectar that lies in his immaculate cellars. He deflects most of the praise onto the steep vineyards he owns at Chavanay and the three hectare Côteau du Chéry, the pearl in his oyster. His vines (between 25 to 50 years old) are well exposed to the sun and rarely yield more than 30 hl/ha. He prefers one- to two-year-old oak for maturing his whites, believing that brand new oak can only subdue the extravagant natural aromas and flavours of the Viognier. Malo-lactic fermentation is completed but these never lack for verve or balance. He is truly one of Condrieu's great winemakers. Of his two top Condrieu, the Clos Chanson is usually the most immediately appealing. It offers balance and charm for up to three years in bottle, while the Château du Chéry plays a little harder to get with its finer, classier fruit and violet hints that further reveal themselves with a couple of years bottle age. The crunchy, damson-packed St Joseph usually requires two years in bottle before starting to drink while Les Grisières, a parcel of 90-year-old vines, could challenge a Côte Rôtie for its grace and longevity.